CEO Message: May 2019

Dear Colleagues:

Hope your spring is off to a great start and you are beginning to enjoy the recent warmer weather.

In today’s letter, I would like to focus on teamwork. We have slowly made strides in improving our staffing and work models to enhance patient care.

I am excited to report that we continue to make progress improving the staffing in our outpatient practice sites. Since 2015, the staffing per full-time employed (FTE) primary care physician has increased from 1.37 FTE to 1.96 FTE clinical support per physician. Clinical support includes medical assistants, LPNs and RNs.

The Preventive Health Coordinator (PHC) role was developed in 2018 with the idea in mind to have a proactive, practice-based resource to help patients achieve their highest quality of life. PHCs are MA or PSA level employees who use dashboards and reporting to prospectively identify and reach out to those patients behind on cancer screening, preventive visits or diabetes care and outreach. Using a conversational approach, rather than requesting the patient complete a screening, PHCs also provide education on the importance of preventive exams and behavior changes to maintain healthier lifestyles. As of today, we currently have a total of 12 PHCs working at 17 different NEMG sites and we are working to expand this program further.

To further enhance efficiency and satisfaction, over 30 NEMG physicians have been utilizing MModal virtual scribes. These remotely located transcribers, with the permission of the patient, listen in during a visit and document medical information in the patient’s chart in Epic. Reported benefits of this resource include more complete notes, improved patient connectivity and decreased waiting times.

NEMG is building float pools to support staff in helping the practice run. Float pools consist of regionally-organized groups of employees, with regularly scheduled hours, who can be deployed to different sites within a region, based on staffing needs. Most float pool employees are comprised of MAs, and we have experienced quite a bit of growth in this effort over the past several years. I am pleased to note that we now have approximately 15.91 FTEs of float clinical support staff. Increasing care coordination and navigation are among other opportunities we are working on.

Finally, a quick highlight on an exciting community engagement event that will take place on Saturday, June 1, when NEMG will host a community health screening at Long Wharf Park, Sargent Drive in New Haven.

2019 health screening 

The event will offer free height and weight screenings; pulmonary function and airway resistance testing; asthma education and more. If you have interest in volunteering or have questions, please contact David Mazzariello at David.Mazzariello@ynhh.org. I hope to see you there. Thank you all for your diligent work and dedication to excellence in patient care.

Best wishes,

Prathibha Varkey, MBBS, MPH, MHPE, MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer
Northeast Medical Group